Twitter is reportedly working on an ad-retargeting exchange, similar to the Facebook Exchange (FBX), in its continued push to provide more advertising options and to better monetize its popular service.
The news comes from AdAge, which cites "people with knowledge of the matter" and an "executive familiar with the matter". Tim Peterson reports:
It's unclear how far along Twitter is in building the exchange, though Facebook managed to create FBX from scratch in a month. In keeping with the company's measured approach to advertising, Twitter is performing its due diligence. Since at least late last year, the company has met with several FBX partners who are well-versed in locating on Facebook people who had previously visited a brand’s site and retargeting them with non-standard display ads on the social network, in hopes of luring them back to the brand site. It works by by pinging a partner when a cookied user visits Facebook so that the partner can bid to target ads to that user on the social network. The talks are early but ongoing, and Twitter has not briefed potential partners on a planned launch date.
According to the report, Twitter wants brands to buy directly on the exchange, and has been reaching out to multichannel retailers.
Twitter is expected to launch an IPO sometime within the next year, and it's certainly paving the way to more revenue streams, and working to appeal more to marketers in general. Last week, the company announced a new Lead Generation card for marketers as well as TV ad targeting and Twitter Amplify, a multi-screen partnership program.
Meanwhile, Twitter continues to find ways to appeal more to users. For example, earlier this week, the company launched updates to its mobile apps, and now it has greatly increased the usefulness of its Lists feature, perhaps in a bid to capture some Google Reader users as that service prepares to shut down.
Twitter has also expanded its "Certified Products" program.
Twitter is not commenting on the potential ad exchange product.
Facebook said earlier this year that 1,300 advertisers were purchasing a billion impressions per day with FBX. Twitter only has something like 200 million active users, however, compared to Facebook's over a billion.